Law and Disorder Radio

Archives for February, 2008

Law and Disorder February 25, 2008


  • Hosts Update: Fidel Castro and Cuba in the news.


Encore Segment: Naomi Wolf – The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

Law and Disorder hosts were live in the studio with Naomi Wolf. Naomi Wolf is a feminist, social critic and political activist. The New York Times called her book, The Beauty Myth, one of the most important books of the 20th century. Wolf is the co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, teaching young women to become leaders and agents of change. Naomi Wolf blog in the Huffington Post

Her latest book The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot is a call to return to the beliefs of our founding fathers. Wolf’s new book illustrates ten steps historically taken by leaders who are attempting to dismantle a democracy. Wolf jokingly called it the The Greatest Hits of Facism.

In The End of America, Wolf gives voice to the cause of every American patriot: the preservation of the Constitution and the liberties it embodies and protects.

“Recent history has profound lessons for us in the U.S. today about how fascist, totalitarian, and other repressive leaders seize and maintain power, especially in what were once democracies. The secret is that these leaders all tend to take very similar, parallel steps. The Founders of this nation were so deeply familiar with tyranny and the habits and practices of tyrants that they set up our checks and balances precisely out of fear of what is unfolding today. We are seeing these same kinds of tactics now closing down freedoms in America, turning our nation into something that in the near future could be quite other than the open society in which we grew up and learned to love liberty,” stated Wolf.


Servants of Wealth: The Right’s Assault on Economic Justice

“Freedom and democracy” are two words we’ve been hearing from the right wing in this country for 25 years. In their quest to shore up support for the politics of wealth and privilege, the Right has organized patiently and consistently by focusing on a core ideology to amass a formidable base. The Right’s commentary on world affairs, morality, the state, and the economy, though, has had an overarching focus, namely to eliminate social equality as a legitimate public policy goal. Its success has resulted in one of the most dramatic, undemocratic, and insidious transfers of wealth and power in recent American history.

Guest – John Ehrenberg, author of the book “Servants of Wealth: The Right’s Assault on Economic Justice.” A professor of political science at Long Island University, in this, his third book, critically analyzes the rise of an ideologically coherent Right. He dissects their themes of military weakness, moral decay, racial anxiety, and hostility to social welfare to reveal their central organizing objective of protecting wealth and assaulting equality.


Law and Disorder February 18, 2008

  • Hosts Update on spy legislation that would give immunity to utility telecom companies in recent eavesdropping bill. Companies such as Verizon would be protected from lawsuits after handing private consumer data (emails / phone conversations) to the federal government without a warrant.


USA vs. Al-Arian

USA vs. Al-Arian is the name of the new documentary that chronicles the arrest and trial of Dr. Sami Al0Arian, a Palestinian computer engineer and former university professor, who was convicted of conspiracy to aid terrorism. Norwegian film-maker Line Halvorsen interviews law professors and reporters and most of Al-Arian’s family to assemble a disturbing picture of a paranoid post-9/11 climate. The film tells the story from the day the FBI storms into Al-Arian’s home to arrest him in February of 2003. Hosts talk with Dr. Al-Arian’s oldest daughter Laila live in studio.

In the film we see the jury found Al-Arian not guilty on all counts yet, the judge hands down a prison sentence and deportation. Dr Al-Arian is still in prison.

Guest – Laila Al-Arian, Dr. Al-Arian’s oldest daughter

Guest – Film maker Line Halvorsen


The Slave Ship – A Human History
“This has been a painful book to write,” he said, “and if I have done any justice to the subject, it will be a painful book to read. There is no way around this, nor should there be.” says Marcus Rediker author and history professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Rediker has scoured through letters, diaries, memoirs, captain’s logbooks, shipping company records to piece together the intimate realities of these 18th-century sailing vessel carrying enslaved Africans. Rediker draws startling parallels to global economy structures then and now, tracing back as New England timber was used to build Slave Ships yet nails and ropes were purchased from Liverpool at discounts, ship captain stock options and more. In his book, Marcus also documents revolts among underpaid sailors and the solidarity that evolves amid slaves and servants.

One review describes Slave Ship as “ a tale of tragedy and terror, but also an epic of resilience, survival, and the creation of something entirely new. Marcus Rediker restores the slave ship to its rightful place alongside the plantation as a formative institution of slavery, a place where a profound and still haunting history of race, class, and modern economy was made.”


Guest – Author and Professor Marcus Rediker.

Torture, tribunals and the death penalty – Michael Ratner: What is at stake is the future of justice in the US.


Law and Disorder February 11, 2008


US NLG Delegation in Pakistan Reports Back On the Rule of Law

A delegation from the National Lawyers Guild has released a preliminary report on its findings regarding the impacts of the Proclamation of the Emergency in Pakistan. The report found that anything short of restoring the judges deposed on last November 2007 will have long lasting negative impacts on the judiciary and rule of law in Pakistan. The delegation also noted structural problems in the pre-election climate such as lack of an independent judiciary, allowing free and fair elections nearly impossible. Here is the NLG Pakistan Delegation report.

The delegation’s findings are based on over 50 interviews with political party leaders, lawyers, members of civil society, government officials, judges, students and journalists in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad.

Guest – David Gespass, the Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild, he has led a delegation of American lawyers to Pakistan to show solidarity with the Pakistani lawyers demanding a return to the rule of law and to oversee and assist with preparations for the upcoming election in that country.

The National Lawyers’ Guild Calls for Demonstrations in Solidarity with Lawyers in Pakistan: Co-hosts Heidi Boghosian and Michael Smith speak with lawyers and activists on the street. — Listen to past program – Law and Disorder November 19, 2007


Bricks in the Wall: How a U.S. Police State Is Being Built

We hear a speech by Nation correspondent Roberto Lovato who spoke at the Brecht Forum. The event examined the near completion since 9/11 of the infrastructure for a police state in the US, including its legal and ideological apparatus. Co-host Michael Steven Smith and Vince Warren Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. were also among the speakers.


Illusions of Security: Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post-9/11 World

Here on Law and Disorder we’ve covered in depth the scope of surveillance bearing down on the lives of people in a post 9/11 society. From intrusive RFID technology to phone companies and airlines handing over private consumer data to the FBI. Webb constructs a clear sense of the emerging panopticon singularity. The Panopticon Singularity bears a strong resemblance to the concept of “ubiquitous law enforcement.”

Excerpt from book: “Surveillance in a world of risk preemption requires that everyone be evaluated as a potential suspect in order to eliminate risk to the furthest degree possible. In this paradigm, the criminal law and due process protections that have been developed over centuries in democratic societies – such as the presumption of innocence; habeas corpus and rights against arbitrary, indefinite detention; attorney-client privilege; public trial; the right to know the evidence against one and to respond; the right against unreasonable search and seizure; and the right to remain silent – are viewed as intolerable risks.”

Guest – Canadian human rights lawyer Maureen Webb, she is the author of Illusions of Security: Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post-9/11 World. In the book, Webb examines how governments worldwide follow the lead of the Bush administration in using quote terrorism as an excuse for public surveillance and information gathering.


Law and Disorder February 4, 2008

Hosts Update – US Attorney General Refuses to Say Waterboarding Is Torture


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Hears Lynne Stewart’s Arguments

Law and Disorder hosts welcome back civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart. Lynne Stewart has been free on bail pending appeal since federal judge John Koeltl gave her a 28 month sentence in October 2006. As you may recall Lynne Stewart was initially facing up to 30 years after being found guilty of conspiring to aid terrorists. She was convicted of distributing press releases on behalf of her jailed client Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman who is serving a life sentence on terror-related charges.

Here on Law and Disorder we’ve followed Lynne Stewart’s case as it contains key breaches of civil liberties such as government eavesdropping into attorney/ client conversations.



Pro-independence Puerto Ricans subpoenaed by NYC grand jury

Three Puerto Rican activists and artists have been ordered to appear before a Brooklyn federal grand jury. The activists are graphic designer Tania Frontera, social worker Christopher Torres and filmmaker Julio Antonio Pabon.

Federal grand jury investigations are secret by law. There are indications that it is part of a probe into the Popular Boricua Army (EPB)-Macheteros, a rebel pro-independence group whose leader, Filiberto Ojeda Rios, was killed by FBI agents in Puerto Rico on Sept. of 2005. The FBI is also trying to locate Hector Rivera, one of the founders of the Welfare Poets, a New York-based collective of activists and poets, in order to serve him with a subpoena. Supporters of the three activists speculated that the FBI had aimed at harassing the Puerto Rican legal movement to obtain independence for the U.S. territory.

Guest – Robert Boyle with the National Lawyers Guild.

Michael Ratner on Real News : Will Bush’s Illegal Wiretapping Be Made Legal?

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